Saturday, March 29, 2014

Aggies 2014 schedule: a more manageable lineup

The New Mexico State Aggie football team will enter the 2014 season with something they didn’t have at their fingertips last year: on paper, a manageable schedule.

Last year’s independent docket featured the likes of power programs Texas, UCLA, Minnesota and Boston College; quality mid-majors Rice, San Diego State and Louisiana-Lafayette; and teams such as Florida Atlantic and Idaho (who the Aggies beat in 2013) that weren’t pushovers for NMSU.

Such a slate’s been replaced by a 2014 schedule comprised of newly-established Sun Belt schools (Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Texas State and Idaho); some Sun Belt mainstays (Troy, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas State); an FCS school (Cal Poly); typical rivals UTEP and New Mexico; and one money big-money game at LSU.

At a glance, this is a much more realistic lineup most weeks.

Not that there aren’t challenges. This is not the same Sun Belt Conference Aggie fans will remember prior to NMSU’s eight-year stay in the Western Athletic Conference. Lafayette beat the Aggies last year, then beat Tulane in a bowl game. Arkansas State has been a good team in recent years, and was a postseason winner in 2014 as well.

Seven of the Sun Belt’s eight teams last season were bowl eligible - the lone team that wasn’t was an 0-12 Georgia State team, which the Aggies will face in Week 2 of the season in Atlanta, Ga. UTEP will be played in the Sun Bowl, while UNM will come to Las Cruces. While the Aggies beat Idaho last year, this year’s affair will take place in the Pacific Northwest, where NMSU rarely has an easy go of it.

And Cal Poly? This is not a poor Football Championship Subdivision program, rather one that’s 28-18 over the past four years and operates an effective rushing offense (ranking No. 1 in the FCS last year with 308.8 rushing yards per game). The Aggies will host the Mustangs in Week 1 of the season.

2014 Aggie football schedule
Aug. 28 Cal Poly
Sept. 6 at Georgia State*
Sept. 13 at UTEP
Sept. 20 New Mexico
Sept. 27 at LSU
Oct. 4 Georgia Southern*
Oct. 11 at Troy*
Oct. 18 at Idaho*
Oct. 25 Bye
Nov. 1 Texas State*
Nov. 8 Lafayette*
Nov. 15 Bye
Nov. 22 UL-Monroe*
Nov. 29 at Arkansas State*
* Sun Belt Conference game

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2012 was also a manageable season and we only won 1 game!